As you have followed the public debate on health care, you may have heard the following line in reference to the legislation currently pending before Congress, “If you like your current health insurance coverage, you can keep it.” Unfortunately, what is actually IN the legislation tells a different story.
The Heritage Foundation asked The Lewin Group, an independent, and highly respected health policy and management consulting firm, to study the proposal in the House of Representatives. There are many interesting findings from the Lewin study, including that 83 million Americans will LOSE their current health insurance and move on to the government-run system while early 17 million Americans will still be uninsured. And all of this at a cost of at least $1 trillion in the first 10 years. This does not even begin to address the fact that in every country that has moved to a government-run system, health outcomes for those who fall ill are dramatically worse than in the United States.
In Maine for example, 78 percent of individuals in employer-based insurance would LOSE it according to Lewin, while 72 percent of people with private insurance would leave that coverage.
Some have also argued that this is not a move toward a complete government takeover of the health care system. If you have not been convinced the public option is a Trojan Horse for a government run single-payer system, then you should watch this video.
So where are we in the process?
The House of Representatives left for their August recess last Friday without passing a health care bill. However, the bill did pass through the three major committees necessary to move to consideration on the House floor. We may not know what the final product will look like, as House leadership can make changes between now and a vote on the floor, but we certainly know the direction Congress is heading by looking at how they voted on a series of amendments in committee.
The U.S. Senate is still in session this week and a bi-partisan group of six senators are negotiating a so-called “compromise.” The Heritage Foundation continues to work on this critical issue as it will certainly come back up for debate when Congress returns in September. Please continue to follow this critical issue as it moves forward by visiting Heritage’s new website www.fixhealthcarepolicy.com
Here are links to more of our research, analysis and commentary:
Spending and Taxes
As Washington debates everything from energy taxes to health care to our national defense, it is important to have a perspective on where our tax dollars are being spent now. Heritage analyst Brian Riedl has produced this special report which compiles this important information using charts, graphs and straightforward talking points: Federal Spending by the Numbers 2009
While Heritage is looking at ways our money is being spent, some in Washington want to raise taxes to pay for even more. In response, Heritage’s Curtis Dubay brings us Seven Myths About Taxing the Rich.
Our military men and women deployed overseas are finding it difficult to vote. In recent elections, only 5 to 20 percent of eligible military voters cast absentee ballots that were counted. Heritage analyst Hans Von Spakovsky looks at what we can do about it. America's Military Voters: Re-enfranchising the Disenfranchised
Many Members of Congress will be holding town hall meetings during August. If you find a good article, video or blog post about any of these events, please share them with me.
As always, please feel free to use Heritage materials in your speeches, op-eds, blogs, letters to the editor, or correspondence with your members of Congress.